A unique centre for disabled children has opened its new £1.2m campus in Stoke Mandeville.
The PACE Centre’s Bradbury Campus Early Years Centre on a formerly derelict garage site forms the latest stage of its £4.5m ‘first steps appeal’ and joins the Weston Centre which was opened in 2014.
Throughout 2015, PACE has been celebrating 25 years of transforming the lives of children and young people with cerebral palsy and related motor disorders, starting from humble beginnings in 1990 in a converted farm building, just outside Aylesbury.
This new facility is being named the Anniversary Building in celebration of that important milestone, and Tuesday’s opening represents the climax of the charity’s anniversary celebrations in 2015.
PACE chief executive, Amanda Richardson, said: “We know how important it is that children with cerebral palsy and related motor disorders have access to specialist therapy and support as early as possible in order to help them unlock the very best long-term opportunities. We know, too, that their families are in urgent need of support and advice.
“We are creating the Early Years Centre to support these very vulnerable little children, and their families, because these services are in critically short supply across the whole of the UK. The Early Years Centre is an inspiring building, carefully designed to PACE’s specifications, and an important milestone in PACE’s exciting development.
“But what is most important is that it helps PACE to help many more of these children, offer them the very best available support and therapy, and offer a new model of excellence that others can follow.”
Milly Soames DL, chairman of the First Steps Appeal Committee said: “It is a joy to be able to stand in front of the new Anniversary Building which has come about due to the generosity of many people whose remarkable support has made our dreams of helping even more young children with cerebral palsy a reality today. We cannot thank them enough and now we turn our attention to the next element of the centre, a third and final phase of construction to complete our vision.”
Children coming to the Early Years Centre will typically be up to 5 years old, with the youngest to date just 10 weeks old.